Monday, April 4, 2011

Tackling Weight Problems in our Students

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It's Spring and this is the time of year when I am asked to see students for mandated periodic physicals and for sports clearance. This is also when I am stunned by the number of overweight children in our schools. Since I have only a few minutes with each student during these marathon sessions, I like to use the time well and will often talk with them about simple ways to make life style changes that can help them get a grip on their expanding torsos. Here are some of the bullets:

1. Always eat breakfast. No excuses. Eat it at home or in the car, bus or while walking to school. If you usually get breakfast at school, make sure to get it as soon as you arrive. Breakfast makes you a smarter, happier and leaner learner. Here is a recipe I love for "breakfast bread" from an earlier blogpost.

2. Eat protein three times a day. The protein portion should be about the size of your palm. Here are some examples:
  • two scrambled or hard boiled eggs
  • a hamburger patty
  • a thin chicken cutlet
  • Peanut butter on multi-grain bread
  • Sliced turkey meat
  • Other sources of protein including beans, cheese, milk, protein bars, tofu, nuts
3. Stop drinking soda even if it’s diet. Drink water instead. Low fat milk once a day is a great source of calcium, protein and fluids.

4. Eat three meals and two snacks a day. At least one meal should be sitting down with family members. Try to eat protein at snack time as well. And don’t forget the water!

5. Exercise for 20 minutes at least three times per week. Make modest, easy goals and you will feel the difference. All kinds of exercise count: walking the dog, walking to school, dancing in your room, raking leaves, riding a bike, even going to the gym if you must!


  1. Very enlightening and beneficial to someone whose been out of the circuit for a long time.

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  2. Plain and simple! I like your work!

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  3. Thanks, febowill. Stick with me. I try to keep it simple.

  4. Some of those people that have weight problems may have issues in their teenage years that made them gain a lot of weight as they grew older. They must have been those teens that are troubled . But they can be helped.